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February 1st, 2021
When you hear the phrase “burn injury,” you likely picture the small burns you might get from a drop of oil jumping out of the frying pan when you cook – painful, but commonplace, and usually no big deal – or more serious burns you might get from being trapped in a burning house, or in a car after a crash – horrifying, but highly unlikely to happen to you or someone you love.
However, there is a wide range of burns in-between the little and big, and most of them still require medical treatment to prevent infection, permanent scarring, or other serious and even life-threatening complications.
Knowing how burns happen – and they’re not always caused by fire – can help you protect yourself from these painful and potentially disfiguring injuries.
In addition to being categorized as 1st-degree, 2nd-degree, and 3rd-degree according to their severity, burns are also commonly sorted into three different categories depending on what caused them. 86% of burns that require medical treatment are thermal burns, and are caused by heat, 4% are chemical burns, and 3% are electrical burns. The remaining 7% of burns include all other causes, including radiation burns.
Thermal burns are caused by:
Chemical burns can be caused by:
Electrical burns can be caused by:
Accidents that cause burn injuries can happen anywhere, but they can be more common in certain situations or in certain professions than in others.
For example, electrical burns are more common at work than at home, and construction workers, utility workers, and tree service employees are more likely to be electrocuted than other types of workers.
While we can’t always protect ourselves from burns caused by other people’s negligence, we can reduce our own risk of burns by following these important safety tips:
Sometimes, no one is at fault for a burn, or it may even be the result of the victim’s own momentary lapse in caution. For example, even if you were left with serious scalding injuries after dropping a pot of boiling water while carrying it to the sink, there usually isn’t any negligence at play on someone else’s part.
However, sometimes burns are caused by someone else’s negligence.
For example, people may be burned by defective products that heat up too fast, or to higher temperatures than they are supposed to. These products may even catch fire or explode. The exploding hoverboards from 2016, and the exploding vape pens from 2019, are both examples of this. When manufacturers fail to make products safe for consumers, they can be held responsible.
Likewise, if people are injured in building fires, they may be able to hold the construction company or property owner liable if the building didn’t meet fire code, causing the fire to spread or make it difficult to safely put out the fire or for residents to escape.
If you are unsure if someone else can be held liable for the costs of your burn injury, call the Louisiana burn injury attorneys at Dudley DeBosier for a free consultation.